Canning Fish
Salmon, Blue, Mackerel, Trout

with Sharon Peterson
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Canning Fish, Including Salmon, Blue, Mackerel, Trout

Ever wanted to try canning fish? 

I don't really care for most fish.  But Salmon?!?   Oh we love salmon! Last time we were in Oregon we visited with a friend who supplied a Salmon dinner. Real fresh non farm raised salmon. We also have a friend from Minnesota who brings us fish when he visits. He is an avid ice fisher. I forget what kind he brings... mmmmm but it is good!

Gotta love those friends!

Canning Fish Procedures

A big thank you to Susan, one of my readers who graciously offered to take pictures of her canning fish sessions for this page. 

I found these tested instructions from the NCFHFP here.

First step.... 

Fish must be prepared in 1/2 pints or pints.

You will need to know how to use a pressure canner. This pressure canning page has more detailed information and step by step instructions.

Prepare

Gather your canning supplies


Ingredients

Fish
canning salt

Procedure

First clean your fish, you'll need to remove the head, tail, all fins, and scales. Wash well and split fish lengthwise.   Cut fish into jar length pieces.

Soak your fish in a salty brine for 1 hour. 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water.

While fish is soaking gather all materials needed. Start your water heating in your canner. See pressure canning for more detailed instructions.

Drain fish for 10 minutes. You want to be sure it is well drained.

Pack fish into hot jars,(pints or half pints) skin sides out next to the glass. Leave a 1 inch head space. Do not add liquid.

Place lids and process according to pressure canning instructions. 

Process Process pints or half pints 1 hour 40 minutes at 10 pounds pressure

Don't forget to adjust for your altitude. Use the chart below. 

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15

Questions from my inbox:

I fell asleep while canning salmon in open water kettle and the water level was two inches below the top of the jars 4 hrs later. They sealed but are they safe to eat? or can I freeze the batch in the jars? this was 4 days ago. I have tried county extension and they don't have any one in that department. 

Lois - WA
___________________________
Answer: 

When you are canning any kind of meat including fish you really need to pressure can it. I can't give any recommendations regarding water bath canning salmon. I am sure that an extension office will tell you the same thing.

You would be safe freezing if you found the error right away (within 24 hours).  In a case like that I'd freeze in freezer bags. However, since your fish has been out for 4 days, I don't believe it would be safe at this point. 

In the future, you might try another extension maybe in a nearby town. That is what I do. I like to work with the lady at an extension office that is actually in the next town over. 

Sharon
SimplyCanning.com 

Our local cooperative extension service recommended canning salmon at 11 lbs. for 100 minutes (1/2 pint jars). The pressure cooker is determined to stay at 15 pounds. Does that matter?

___________________

Answer:

As long as you don't use less pressure than is recommended, you should be fine. If you were to be using a weighted gauge canner, then you would need to use the 15-pound weight. So I would think using that pressure on your dial gauge pressure canner should be okay.

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The Legal Stuff

by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2019 SimplyCanning.com

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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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